Efficiency Decoration (South Africa)

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Efficiency Decoration (South Africa)
Efficiency Decoration (South Africa) obverse & reverse.jpg
Awarded by the Monarch of the United Kingdom and the Dominions of the British Commonwealth, and Emperor of India
Country South Africa South Africa
Type Military long service decoration
Eligibility Officers of the Citizen Force
Awarded for Long and meritorious service
Status Discontinued in 1952
Clasps Silver rose emblem
Post-nominals ED
Established 1939
Last awarded 1952
South African order of wear
Next (higher) Flag of South Africa 1928-1994.svg Medal for Long Service and Good Conduct (South Africa)
Equivalent Flag of the United Kingdom.svg Efficiency Decoration
Flag of the United Kingdom.svg Territorial Decoration
Next (lower) Flag of South Africa 1928-1994.svg Efficiency Medal (South Africa)
Related Canadian Red Ensign 1921-1957.svg Canadian Efficiency Decoration
Ribbon - Efficiency Decoration (South Africa).png
Ribbon Bar

The Efficiency Decoration (South Africa), post-nominal letters ED, is a distinctive award to recognise long and meritorious service as an officer in the Citizen Force of the Union of South Africa.[1]


The South African version of the Efficiency Decoration, post-nominal letters ED, was instituted by a Royal Warrant dated 29 December 1939 to recognise long and meritorious service as a volunteer Citizen Force officer in the Union Defence Forces.[2]

The decoration is a distinctive version of the British Efficiency Decoration with a different bilingual English and Afrikaans suspender bar inscription. The equivalent award for other ranks was the Efficiency Medal.[3]

Award criteria[edit]

The decoration was awarded to recognise long and meritorious service of at least twenty years as a volunteer Citizen Force officer.[2] War service, subject to certain conditions, was counted as double time.[1]

It was initially only awarded to Citizen Force offcers of the South African Army and South African Air Force. On 1 August 1942, when the South African Navy was established by the consolidation of the Seaward Defence Force and the South African Division of the Royal Naval Volunteer Reserve into the South African Naval Forces, eligibility for the award of the decoration was extended to South African Naval Citizen Force officers.[1][4]

A subsequent award of this decoration for thirty years service was denoted by a silver rose emblem.[2] A recipient that had earlier been awarded the Efficiency Medal was permitted to wear both awards, provided he had completed the service periods prescribed for both, in effect a total of 32 years service.[1]

South African order of precedence[edit]

Until 5 April 1952 the position of the Efficiency Decoration (South Africa) in the official order of precedence was prescribed by the British Central Chancery of the Orders of Knighthood. With effect from 6 April 1952 these awards continued to be worn in the same order of precedence but, with the exception of the Victoria Cross, took precedence after all South African orders, decorations and medals awarded to South Africans on or after that date.[5][6][7]

Medal for Long Service and Good Conduct (South Africa) Efficiency Decoration (South Africa) Efficiency Medal (South Africa)



The decoration is struck in silver and consists of an oval wreath surrounding the crowned monogram of King George VI, "GRI", in skeletal form. It is 46 millimetres high and 35 millimetres wide and has a ring suspender.


The reverse is undecorated, with the rank, initials and surname of the recipient impressed around the perimeter.


The ribbon is 38 millimetres wide and dark green with an 8 millimetres wide lime yellow band in the centre. It is identical to the ribbons of the British Efficiency Decoration (ED), the British Territorial Decoration (TD) and the Canadian Efficiency Decoration (ED).

Suspender bar

The ribbon hangs on a rectangular silver bar-brooch that bears the legend "UNION OF SOUTH AFRICA" and "UNIE VAN SUID-AFRIKA" in two lines. On the reverse, the bar is impressed with the silver hallmarks.[1][3]


Award of the Efficiency Decoration (South Africa) was discontinued on 6 April 1952, when it was replaced by the John Chard Decoration, which could be awarded to both officers and other ranks of the Citizen Force.[1]

Notable recipients[edit]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c d e f Alexander, EGM; Barron, GKB and Bateman, AJ (1986). South African Orders, Decorations and Medals. Cape Town: Human and Rousseau Publishers. p. 160. ISBN 0-7981-1895-4. 
  2. ^ a b c Fforde, JPI; Monick, S (1986). A Guide to South African Orders, Decorations and Medals and their Ribbons 1896-1985. Johannesburg. p. 40. 
  3. ^ a b Mackay, J., Mussell, J.W., Editorial Team of Medal News, (2005), The Medal Yearbook, page 236, (Token Publishing Limited)
  4. ^ "History of the SA Navy". Navy.mil.za. Retrieved 2012-07-12. 
  5. ^ Government Notice no. 1982 of 1 October 1954 - Order of Precedence of Orders, Decorations and Medals, published in the Government Gazette of 1 October 1954.
  6. ^ The London Gazette: (Supplement) no. 56878. p. 3353. 17 March 2003.
  7. ^ Republic of South Africa Government Gazette Vol. 477, no. 27376, Pretoria, 11 March 2005, OCLC 72827981